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The Trip Starts July 3, 2005 and ends August 25, 2005 (see route & schedule)
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Chinese Mothers - 182 kilometers
TunHe -- Sat, Aug 20, 2005
I'm back to biking solo -- making the last stage by myself -- in large part because of one Chinese mother, Mrs. Fang. Now I have never met her, but from what I have experienced of her through Fang Wen Guang, she is an amazing, albeit interesting woman.

First I must mention that she has done an incredible job raising two boys after her husband died so suddenly of a heart attack. She is a market vendor -- there's millons of them in China and they are all selling the same damn things. But she seems to be one of the few that innovates. She focuses on one food product and tries to change it ahead of the curve, right as it gets popular and other people are not selling it. Right now she sells jellyfish... Supposedly she has been pretty successful for a street vendor.

But she wasn't too hot on Fang Wen Guang biking across china. As any mother would, she was worried about her little boy. And I must credit Fang Wen Guang for doing what I've have found most chinese children won't do -- do something their parents don't fully support.

But as time grew on -- instead of getting more comfortable with her son doing great things half way across the country, she got more worried. The issues began to roll in over the phone and the phone calls became a once, twice, three time daily event (in addition to Fang Wen Guang's damn girlfriend... another story.)

So here are the top five reasons Fang Wen Guang's mother thinks he should go home (these are actual quotes via Fang Wen Guang):

5. It's not safe -- Kazak and Uygher bandits will rob and stab him
4. He needs to mediate her relationship with her new boyfriend
3. Fang Wen Guang needs to solve her business problems
2. His brother is going to get in a fight -- Fang Wen Guang needs to come stop it
1. (For Real) -- I am going to sell him to some woman in America when we get to Korgaz!!!

Although I had thought of selling Fang Wen Guang, the offers were just too low. Though if anyone does want a 21 year old chinese boy for chores, cleaning, and whatever your pleasure... let me know and I will see what I can do when I get back to Beijing...

Biking Update

Today I biked along Tomato Road -- I passed or was passed by literally thousands of trucks filled to the rim with plum tomatos. At times the road was covered with squashed, dried red skins and some trucks would leak the juices from the bottom tomatos onto the road. The smell of fresh tomatos permeated the air -- which although it sounds nice, it gets old after a while of being sprayed by tomato juice.

Finally out of desert territory and there are a lot more towns around and changing scenery. It makes 180km a lot more barable. Although surprisingly, the population changed dramatically back to Han Chinese. I had expected more Uygher and Kazak people as I neared Korgaz, we'll see if this was a silly assumption....


Trip Diary
Stage 1: Shanghai - Nanjing (7/3 - 7/6)
Stage 2: Nanjing - Hefei (7/8 - 7/9)
Stage 3: Hefei - Xi'an (7/11 - 7/19)
Stage 4: Xi'an - Lanzhou (7/22 - 7/27)
Stage 5: Lanzhou - Jiayuguan (7/29 - 8/5)
Stage 6: Jiayuguan - Turpan (8/7 - 8/16)
Stage 7: Turpan - Urumqi (8/18 - 8/19)
Stage 8: Urumqi - Korgaz (8/22 - 8/28)

Date Title Location
Aug 23 Sweet Pain -- We Made It Korgaz
Aug 22 Uphill to Wind Lake Salima Hu
Aug 21 Biking The Prisoneer Highway Along the Red Pepper Mountains JingHe
Aug 20 Chinese Mothers TunHe
Aug 19 The Final Volunteer Day Urumqi
Aug 18 Urumqi, What a City Urumqi
Aug 17 The Last Day for Wen Ray and Fang Wen Guang Urumqi
Aug 16 Rugged Desert and The Police
Aug 15 The Second Lowest Place in the World Turpan
Aug 14 Toilet Paper vs. Prostitutes QiKeTai
Aug 13 Sunset is Nice, Biking in the Dark Isn't YiWanQuan
Aug 12 Meeting Our Match Hami
Aug 11 Dry to the bone Hami
Aug 11 Gobi Down Hami
Aug 10 Small Town China Small town on edge of desert
Aug 9 Chinese Customer Service (Negotations) Dunhuang
Aug 8 Let's Talk About The Roads Dunhuang
Aug 7 Kao, Kao, Kao Lamb's Barn
Aug 6 Sick Returns Yumen
Aug 5 Volunteer Day in Jiayuguan Jiayuguan
Aug 4 Being a Chinese Wingman Jiayuguan
Aug 3 The Desert Has Arrived QingShui
Aug 2 Talking Politics in China Zhengye
Aug 1 Biking the Great Wall Zhengye
Jul 31 Where's the Beef... No Lamb? Small Village
Jul 30 A Toilet Seat Would Be Nice WuWei
Jul 29 Being a Celebrity TienJou
Jul 29 The Faces We Pass TienJou
Jul 28 Volunteer Day in Lanzhou Lanzhou
Jul 27 I got a visa ;) Lanzhou
Jul 26 The Six Questions Lanzhou
Jul 25 Why Bike Across China? HuiNing
Jul 24 The Mountain Climbs Begin LongDe
Jul 23 The West Has Arrived YongChuang
Jul 22 Sick or Not the Kilometers Must Go On YongShou
Jul 22 Three Stages Down -- Five to Go YongShou
Jul 21 A Full Volunteer Day in Xi'an Xi'an
Jul 20 Leaving Relics at the Terracotta Warriors Xi'an
Jul 19 And I thought I was ok... Xian
Jul 17 Longest day ever TongGuang
Jul 16 No Hot Water Until 6pm Luoyang
Jul 15 Volunteer Day in ZhengZhou ZhengZhou
Jul 14 XuChang to ZhengZhou ZhengZhou
Jul 13 Zhumadian to XuChang XuChang
Jul 12 News Clip from Nanjing Newspaper Zhumadian
Jul 12 10 Days Down Zhumadian
Jul 11 Chinese law is not always written Xin Yang
Jul 10 Biking at Night Huang An
Jul 9 Easy Day to Lu'an Lu'an
Jul 8 Sad I Don't Have the Answer Hefei
Jul 7 The Chinese Countryside Quan Jiao
Jul 6 Teaching English in Nanjing Nanjing
Jul 5 Rain is a beautiful thing Nanjing
Jul 4 Happy Independence Day in China Changzhou
Jul 3 Hot, hot, hot in Suzhou Suzhou
Jul 2 Autism in Shanghai Shanghai
Jun 23 Autism In China -- An Amazing Day Beijing
Jun 18 Training -- Beijing to Baoding Baoding


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